Vestal kids get creative

June 13, 2012 |  by  |  Blog

With all the excitement of opening day and the 100th Montavilla Farmers Market,
one special addition might have slipped under your radar—the Vestal Elementary
wacky container contest. This fun activity involved both kindergarteners and eight-
graders who not only diverted waste from the landfill, but also found creative ways
to bring some additional vibrancy to the market. The students who participated
used an assortment of common products—for example, paint can, soccer ball,
and shoes—and decorated them before adding soil and flowers. These wacky and
colorful plant containers were placed around key areas of the market, adding to the

In addition to creating a fun and educational activity for the students, the idea of
the contest was to provide market customers with a small snapshot of the great
work Vestal is doing to develop and encourage community food right here in
Montavilla. Their work started in 2009 when the school partnered with Depave to
remove a large portion of cement from the school’s play area. In March of 2010, this
space became the Vestal Community Garden—an amazing resource for students,
their families, and neighborhood residents looking to grow some food and build

Vestal also partners with nutritionists from Oregon State University extension
services who teach students good eating habits and bring tasty, garden fresh
produce into the classroom. According to Gretchen Rowland, a kindergarten teacher
at Vestal and community garden co-founder, these programs have brought about a
noticeable difference in the food choices children are making at lunch.

The Montavilla Farmers Market recognizes the value in having a community
engaged and excited about local food. We are proud to support and encourage
Vestal’s efforts to provide children and their families with additional options and
information regarding good eating habits, and we look forward to future Vestal/farmers
market collaboration. Great job Vestal students!

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